“Patriot. Get your ass in my office.”
Mac’s gruff command came from the side door to the garage, and I twisted my head around to see him standing with his arms crossed, scowling at me. I nodded respectfully and grabbed Cherry’s hand, taking her with me as I followed my president inside.
“Did I get you in trouble?” Cherry whispered, her voice trembling with worry.
I could understand her trepidation. Mac was a scary motherfucker with his ripped physique, full beard, and almost as many tattoos as me. Not to mention the air of authority that hung around him, one that promised unimaginable pain to anyone who fucked with him or his people.
However, even though that shit was legitimate, what people outside the club didn’t know was that he was a giant teddy bear when it came to his wife and kids.
“No worries, baby,” I assured her. “Remember what I told you about my prez?”
She nodded, and some of the fear in her expression ebbed.
We entered Mac’s office, and he indicated for us to sit. I was tempted to pull Cherry onto my lap, but Mac wouldn’t appreciate it until I’d cleared things up, and I didn’t think she was ready for it. Instead, I led her to one of the chairs in front of the desk and then took the one next to her. Just as I sat, Scout—the Silver Saints VP—strolled into the room and shut the door behind him.
He dropped down onto one of the couches in the corner of the room, and his eyes locked onto my woman before meeting mine. “This the Devil’s Jesters woman?” he asked.
I growled and clenched my hands into fists. “Those assholes have no claim on Cherry.”
Scout’s eyebrows rose. “Cherry?” He scanned my girl again—it was almost clinical, though, so I didn’t jump out of my chair and blacken both his eyes. “Fitting. I like it.”
“No one calls her Cherry but me,” I told him in a hard tone.
Scout held up his hands in surrender. “Noted. Hmm, okay then, how ’bout I call you cinnamon?”
“Um…” Cherry looked at me in confusion.
“Erin, this is Scout, our VP. He likes nicknames.” I rolled my eyes then glared at my VP. “This is Erin.”
“Okay, but, um, why cinnamon, exactly?” she asked Scout.
He grinned. “That sprinkling of brown freckles reminds me of the cinnamon sprinkled on my old lady’s frilly lattes.”
Cherry giggled, and I smiled at the sound. This was the first time I’d seen her face light up, and it was fucking gorgeous.
“Shut your trap, Scout,” Mac finally barked, drawing everyone’s attention.
“Got a call from an irate Razor,” Mac continued, his gaze on me. “Seems he’s of the opinion you busted up their bar and stole the property of a patch.”
“That’s an outright lie,” Cherry suddenly insisted, her body rigid and her face twisted with disgust. “I don’t belong to them. To anyone.” I was proud of her backbone but not happy with her statement.
“That so?” Mac asked, his tone curious as his eyes strayed to me. He watched me for a moment, asking a silent question.
A slight dip of my head gave him the answer. Cherry might not know it yet, but she belonged to me.
She responded to Mac by telling him about the death of her parents and the last five years with her sister and her old man’s MC, ending with how I’d stepped in and saved her.
Mac listened quietly, giving no indication of his thoughts. When she was done, he picked up his phone and sent a text message before putting it back on the desktop. “I’ll work things out with Razor’s prez,” he told me. “You put us in a spot by exiting so noisily. There a reason you didn’t just sneak her out later that night instead?”
“Didn’t think she’d make it to the end of the night without being assaulted,” I explained. Mac was smart enough to put together what I meant from Razor’s claim and my actions.
He nodded, accepting my reasoning. Then he looked at Cherry. “You’re welcome to stay as long as you need, Erin. If we have to help you disappear”—I was about to snarl at him for suggesting she leave, but he held up a hand and gave me a hard look that had me snapping my mouth shut—“we can do that. Whatever you need.”
Mac eyed me, and I understood the point he was making. It would be my job to convince her that I was what she needed.
Another small redhead entered the room and walked over to Mac. A gentle smile spread across his face, and he palmed her neck to pull her head down so he could kiss her. Cherry’s gasp prompted me to glance at her, and I was surprised to see her watching the couple with her jaw slack and wide eyes.
When Mac released his woman, he brushed some of her hair out of her face, then turned her to face us. “Erin, this is my wife, Bridget.”